City students bear brunt of TSRTC's 'unfair' bus fare hike

"If I take a bus ticket and travel every day instead of relying on a bus pass, it will cost higher. So, students have to rely on bus passes. However, the current increase in bus pass rates is more than double the previous amount and such a sharp increase is unfair," says Lalith, a student of Osmania University. He explains that the pass is worth it but that a sudden rise in the price can affect many students.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  11 Jun 2022 11:41 AM GMT
City students bear brunt of TSRTCs unfair bus fare hike

Hyderabad: City students have expressed concern over the sudden hike in the price of TSRTC bus fare and student bus pass.

The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has increased the price of student bus pass by nearly 130%. The pass that was earlier priced at Rs. 195 per month will now cost Rs. 450 per month.

"TSRTC is the only mode of travel for many students, including me. I take the bus regularly. However, Rs. 450 for a monthly bus pass is too much," says Umar, a student of Maulana Azad National Urdu University.

Umar is from Ichoda village which is 31 kms from Adilabad. "The diesel cess has also increased the price of TSRTC bus fares across the state," he adds.

Umar believes that the increase in the price of bus passes will particularly affect students from poor financial backgrounds and those from far-off villages and towns.

"If I take a bus ticket and travel every day instead of relying on a bus pass, it will cost higher. So, students have to rely on bus passes. However, the current increase in bus pass rates is more than double the previous amount and such a sharp increase is unfair," says Lalith, a student of Osmania University. He explains that the pass is worth it but that a sudden rise in the price can affect many students.

Ipshita, a student of the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad, is mulling whether to renew her bus pass. "There are times when a bus doesn't come on time or when I am late to catch the bus and I have to rely on other modes of transportation. This happens to students all the time and doubles our expenses. Hiking the student bus pass price is unfair. Why should students bear the brunt?" she asks.

Another student from Osmania University pointed out that other countries like Germany have slashed their fuel usage without increasing the fares. "In fact, they have reduced the fares that have attracted more people. For just €9 (approximately Rs 800), Germans will be able to travel aboard regional rail, bus, and subways for a whole month. Why can't we follow this method?" she questions.

'TSRTC is still the cheapest mode of transportation'

TSRTC managing director V.C Sajjanar explained that this is the first major increase since 2016. "Minor increases were made over the years. The increase has been made keeping in mind the hike in various bus maintenance charges," he said. "TSRTC is still the cheapest mode of transportation in the city," he added.

A few days ago, TSRTC hiked passenger fares by Rs. 3 depending upon the distance.

TSRTC called it diesel cess and passed the burden on the passengers. Instead of charging Rs. 2 per ticket, the cess will be payable in slabs of Rs. 5 from 9 June depending on the distance traveled.

Earlier, on 9 April, the Corporation levied a nominal diesel cess of Rs. 2 per ticket in Pallevelugu and city ordinary services and Rs. 5 per ticket in all other services irrespective of distance traveled.

The Corporation said the cost of operation has also increased and it is not in a position to bear the expenses without levying additional diesel cess. The proposals to levy additional diesel cess and increase the bus pass fares for students will help the Corporation recover only a portion of its operating costs.

TSRTC ferries more than 30 lakh passengers and about 12 lakh students each day across various destinations in Telangana and neighboring states.

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